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    Default What are the Holidays of Muslims?

    What are the holidays that Muslims observe? What are the significance behind them, and how are these holidays typically celebrated (with family/guests, etc.)?

    In Isam, there are only two holidays. They are the two Eids (festivals). They are Eid Al Fitr aka sweet eid aka small eid, and Eid al Adah aka big eid aka eid of sacrifice. Muslims go out the night before the eid for shopping to buy new clothes, shoes, henna, etc.

    The eid Fitr comes at end of the month of Ramadan to celebrate the end of fasting. Normally, Muslims wake and make something sweet to eat and eat it before going to pray in the morning so show they not fasting. Afterwards, it's visiting and meeting friends and families. Other than that, how they celebrate varies culture to culture and family to family. Some Muslims in the west wrap up gifts (like Christmas) and give those to kids. In the East, it's usually giving money to kids who go out to buy sweets and stuff from the market.

    The Eid Adha comes in the season of Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca required at least once from Muslims who are able physically and financially). It honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham)'s willingness to sacrifice his young first-born and only son in obedience of a command from God, Marks the end of the annual Hajj to Mecca. Towards the end of the Hajj, the Pilgrims make a sacrifice of a goat/lamb or 1 of 7 part share in a larger animal such as a bull, cow or camel. At the same time, Muslims in rest of the world also offer a sacrifice, those who can and choose to. Muslims go and pray first and then they come back and do the sacrifice. Muslims in the east normally do it themselves and ones in the west normally pay to online charity to do it on their behalf and give the meat to the needy. Then it's the normal stuff of visiting friends and family and other activities. This Eid has 3 day celebration window so if you are traveling or something then you can do the sacrifice if you get home in time.

    These two are the authentic holidays of Islam. There are other religion related (innovated) and cultural holidays Muslims celebrate.

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    Other Islam related "holidays" or more of observance days include the following:


    mid-Sha‘ban - Sha'ban is the 8th month of Islamic calendar (month before Ramadan). 15th of sha'ban is regarded by some as special in that they believe it is the time Allah comes to lowest heaven to forgive people, although none of it has any basis in Islam. The cultural Muslims celebrate it with fireworks, while the supposedly religious ones celebrate through fasting, reading Quran and other worship.

    Ashura - is on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar year. Sunni Muslims fast on this day out of respect since it is the day Moses and his people were saved from the pharaoh. Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and son of Ali, and his companions were brutally murdered on this day in what is known as the battle of Karbala (in Karbala, Iraq). Shia invited him to come to Iraq from Saudi to become the ruler of Muslims but they betrayed him and killed him and now they observe this day as day of mourning and engage in self flagellation as reenactment of that day.

    Mawlid al-Nabi (birthday of the Prophet)
    - is celebrated around the Muslim world, although has no basis in Islam. It is celebrated in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. Those who celebrate it sing songs and poetry praising him and read/discuss/remember his life.

    Islamic New Year - The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. The word Muharram means “forbidden”, and many Muslims fast during this period. Muharram marks the anniversary of the historical battle of Karbala.

    Saints and Pirs - there is no such thing as sainthood in Islam but some take pious men of the past and raise them to sainthood status and celebrate them and pray to them to act as intermediaries. Pirs are what you call self proclaimed fake miracle workers. Many ignorantly follow them, celebrate them and give money to them.

    culturally, there are many holidays specific to different regions and local cultures. Then there are also holidays of other nations and people that many Muslims imitate, something that is forbidden as imitation of the disbelievers is not allowed. These holidays are those that are specific to a certain group of people, such as birthdays, anniversaries, mother/father days, thanksgiving, holi (hindu festival) and other.

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    Here's the longer version of the previous post, with more details:


    Sha'ban - 8th month of Islamic calendar (month before Ramadan). Islam wise, it is the sunnah (tradition of the Prophet) to fast most of this month as a prelude to Ramadan. Other than there isn't much significance to it. However, many muslims following the weak hadith(prophetic narrations) celebrate mid-sha'ban (15th of sha'ban). They believe it is night that Allah descends on the night of mid-Sha‘ban to the nearest heaven, and He forgives a number of people which exceeds the number of the sheep owned by Kalb (a tribe known for their sheep) and it is the night your sustenance for this world is dived out among other things. So many Muslims wrongfully single out this day to fast and do other worship. But most scholars say that the Hadiths narrated about the merit of the night of the middle of Sha‘ban and Sawm (fasting) on its day are weak. Other Muslims celebrate this 15th of sha'ban with fireworks and stuff. So the cultural Muslims who engage in fireworks and fun and supposedly "religious" Muslims who engage in worship are both wrong in light of Islam. However, it is still a day celebrated by many.

    Ashura - a religious observance marked every year by Muslims. The word ashura literally means "10th," as it is on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar year. Ashura is an ancient day of remembrance for all Muslims, but it is now recognized for different reasons and in different ways by Sunni and Shi'a Muslims.

    For Sunni Muslims,

    The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashoora’. He said, “What is this?” They said, “This is a good day, this is the day when Allaah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy and Moosa(Moses) fasted on this day.” He said, “We are closer to Moosa than you.” So he fasted on this day and told the people to fast.

    The words “so Moosa fasted on this day” – means: “In gratitude to Allaah, so that is why we fast on this day.” In another narration, “So we fast it out of respect for it.”

    Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fasting the day of ‘Arafah I hope Allaah will expiate thereby for the year before it and the year after it, and fasting the day of ‘Ashoora’ I hope Allaah will expiate thereby for the year that came before it.” Narrated by Muslim, 1162.

    The expiation of sins that is achieved by fasting ‘Ashoora’ refers to minor sins; with regard to major sins, they need separate repentance.

    For shia,

    In the year 680 A.D., an event happened that was a turning point for what was to become the Shi'a Muslim community. Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and son of Ali, was brutally murdered during a battle against the ruling caliph--and it occurred on the 10th day of Muharram (Ashura). This took place in Karbala (modern-day Iraq), which is now an important pilgrimage site for Shi'a Muslims. In the book History of Islam, there is a detailed account given of the battle of Karbala. To make the long story short, the shia invited the grandson to come to Iraq to over throw the ruler and take his rightful placea as the ruler and all the shia rebehind him. But when he got there, the shia turned against him and in alliance with the ruler, they killed him and his companinons. So the shia are seen as the killers and hypocrites among the Sunni.

    Thus, Ashura became the day that Shi'a Muslims reserve as a day of mourning for Hussein ibn Ali and in remembrance of his martyrdom. Reenactments and plays are performed in an effort to relive the tragedy and keep the lessons alive. Some Shi'a Muslims beat and flog themselves in parades on this day as an expression of their grief and to reenact the pain that Hussein suffered.

    Mawlid al-Nabi (birthday of the Prophet) - is celebrated around the Muslim world, although has no basis in Islam. It is celebrated in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar.

    There is nothing in the Qur’aan to say that we should celebrate the Mawlid or birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet himself (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do this or command anyone to do it, either during his lifetime or after his death. Indeed, he told them not to exaggerate about him as the Christians had exaggerated about Jesus (upon whom be peace). He said: “Do not exaggerate about me as the Christians exaggerated about the son of Maryam. I am only a slave, so say, ‘The slave of Allaah and His Messenger.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari).

    The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in a saheeh hadeeth: “The best of mankind are my generation (or my century), then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then there will come a people who will not care if their testimony comes before their oath or vice versa (i.e., they will not take such matter seriously).” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Muslim and al-Tirmidhi). The celebration of the Prophet’s birthday appeared many centuries later, when many of the features of true religion had vanished and bid’ah had become widespread.

    Islamic New Year - is the day that marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year, and is the day on which the year count is incremented. The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. The first Islamic year begins in 622 AD with the emigration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijra (migration). The word Muharram means “forbidden”, and many Muslims fast during this period. Muharram marks the anniversary of the historical battle of Karbala, when the grandson of Muhammad, Imam Hussein ibn Ali, was killed, and is widely commemorated by Shia Muslims.

    For many Muslims, the New Year represents a period for self-reflection and historical awareness. Prayers and fasting build up towards the tenth day of Muharram, known as Ashura, when the massacre at Karbala is remembered.

    Saints and Pirs - there is no such thing as sainthood in Islam. In Christianity, the church anoints the status of saint upon someone. Among the Muslims, some take pious men of the past as saints and celebrate them and even pray to them as the intermediaries for them, all of which is forbidden. Then there are also pirs or fake self proclaimed saints who claim to do miracles and stuff. Many ignorant Muslims follow them, and celebrate them in some way.


    Cultural holidays Muslims celebrate are often related to the culture of their own traditions, customs and ethnicity. They vary region to region. So long as they do not contradict the teachings of Islam, they are allowed. For example, Muslims in India may celebrate Independence of India from occupation from colonial British but not the local holi festival that the hindus celebrate.

    holi - is a Hindu spring festival celebrated in India and Nepal, also known as the "festival of colors" or the "festival of love". The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships( wiki)


    So holi and other imitation of the holidays of non-Muslims is forbidden in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, warning us against following the ways and traditions of the Jews and Christians: “You would follow the ways of those who came before you step by step, to such an extent that if they were to enter a lizard’s hole, you would enter it too.” They said, “O Messenger of Allaah, (do you mean) the Jews and Christians?” He said, “Who else?” (Reported by al-Bukhaari and Muslim).

    The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”


 

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